Guerilla Marketing: 3 Cost Effective and Powerful Tactics

Part 2 of the Series: Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Small Business

Guerilla Marketing is the countless free or very inexpensive tactics you can deploy do to build awareness for your brand and generate new business. Guerilla Marketing takes creativity, persistence, and work to make things happen with very little investment.

A key strategy in Guerilla Marketing is to know your customer. Define your ideal customer and all of the offline and online places you can reach them. Create a tracking document and prioritize every marketing opportunity by how many of your target customers it will reach.

Here are three Guerilla Marketing tactics you can implement fast and inexpensively:

1.    Develop two important programs – a Customer Loyalty Program and a Referral Program. These are your most inexpensive sources of new business.

The key is to stay top-of-mind and take advantage of the almost universal human trait of wanting to be helpful. When a friend or co-worker of one of your customers says, “I want to remodel my bathroom” or “I need to help executing a partner program” in the B2B world, you want your customer to recommend you.

Put definition and resources around these programs so that all employees will be involved in making them successful. Build in accountability: who is responsible, how will you track the results, and how often will you review? Elements of these two programs might include:

•    Sending a regular quarterly email with tips and how-to articles to your customers. This helps your customer view you as an expert resource and helps you stay top-of-mind – and it’s virtually free. Not only that, email is easy to forward to a friend! Make it simple for others to refer you.
•    Give customers a special coupon worth a discount for referring new business. Consider providing a discount for the referral as well. In B2B, you can provide small bounty or affiliate payments for new business.
•    Mind your manners. It is always appropriate to send a thank you note or call or email when someone refers you new business.

2.    Review all of your marketing communications and update them to reinforce your brand, your products/services, and your value proposition. Never miss a chance to reinforce your brand. For example:

•    Add a descriptive signature to all company emails – include your website and your tagline, even a customer testimonial. You never know when new business will walk in your door from an email that’s been forwarded. Think of every email that your company sends as a marketing opportunity.
•    The next time you print business cards, consider creating a two-sided card. Keep your contact information and company logo on one side, and use the other side for a list of your services.
•    Step outside of your own business and review: Your signage, your website, etc. Then step inside. If you have a bricks and mortar location, what’s the ambiance like? Does it reflect the customer you want to attract?  If not, update it. If you have an online business, realize that an outdated website does the opposite of reflecting a current, growing business. The old adage “A first impression is the most important impression” is still true.

3.    Develop partnerships with other businesses that have products or services that complement yours and co-market for one another. Don’t be afraid to say no to those that aren’t related. You’ll want to spend your precious time on those that are likely to become a source of new business for you.

If you’re working with a marketing consultant and they aren’t identifying and recommending these types of tactics, consider finding another marketing consultant!

Hopefully these examples will help you generate your own ideas. Write them down and make them happen, and you could just get that elusive and valuable competitive advantage!

Read Part 1: Brand, Positioning and Messaging' About Melody Appleton

Melody Appleton consults with businesses to accelerate brand awareness and revenue growth through a critical combination of strong positioning and messaging, marketing planning, and integrated marketing programs. Melody's strategic and integrated approach helps small to medium enterprises build momentum and get results.


  1. I am LOVING this site & amazing tips! Thank you!

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